From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to campus. If you have a book coming out in the next year and would like the chance to discuss it as a part of the Heyman Center’s New Books in the Arts & Sciences panel discussion series, email to let us know. And of course, please continue to send us news about publications, digital projects, awards and fellowships, and other accomplishments from humanities faculty, graduate students, and undergrads.

This spring, the New Books in the Arts & Sciences series begins with Gary Wilder and Mamadou Diouf discussing Souleymane Bachir Diagne's latest book, The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa, on Wednesday, February 8th. The series continues on Thursday, February 9th, when Eileen Gillooly, Robin Feuer Miller, William Mills Todd, Richard S. Wortman, and Valentina Izmirlieva will discuss Liza Knapp's Anna Karenina and Others: Tolstoy’s Labyrinth of Plots and Irina Reyfman's How Russia Learned to Write: Literature and the Imperial Table of Ranks. For a detailed schedule, see the Heyman Center website.

I’d also like to draw your attention to this summer’s two-week intensive workshop for Humanities faculty, Mapping for Urban Humanities. This is the second year that the Center for Spatial Research, with support from the Office of the Dean of Humanities, has offered the program, in which participants learn key skills in mapping, data visualization, and data collection that they can incorporate into their research and teaching. This program, a part of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities Initiative, offers Humanities faculty a rare and welcome opportunity to focus on making and doing, and to work collaboratively with faculty from our division and others. Arts & Sciences faculty in the humanities will be eligible for an award of $2,000 in supplementary research funds after completing the course. Applications are due this Friday, January 27; application instructions are available at

Sharon Marcus
Dean of Humanities, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Columbia Humanities in the News
"[String Quartet No. 3], performed in absolute darkness, is at once a rich musical structure and a philosophical commentary on the concert experience. The performance was mesmerizing."

In a survey of 100 professionals conducted by the Italian magazine Classic Voice, Georg Friedrich Haas (Music) was ranked the most important composer of the 21st century. The Daily Gazette and the San Francisco Chronicle ranked two of his recent works among the top 10 pieces performed in 2016.
"As one of my students put it, 'Because "Brazilian" is not an option in any census, job or college form, you get older and wonder, where do I fit in?'"

Read Frances Negrón-Muntaner's (English and Comparative Literature) article "Are Brazilians Latinos? What their identity struggle tells us about race in America," in the Conversation.
"When you kill the humanities, you kill the culture. Humanities are imaginative activism."

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak gave the keynote address, "What is it to be a University?" at the 200th Anniversary of her alma mater in Calcutta, Presidency College (now Presidency University), founded in 1817 as Hindoo College. Read more about her talk in the Times of India or the Telegraph India.
"This war is trite and pedestrian, filled with similes and ornate adjectives, its history is written in the font Comic Sans, violence so limitless the war doesn’t know where to put it, one grave for every thousand corpses, one shadow for every thousand survivors."

Read Karen Rhoads Van Dyck's (Classics) translation of The War is Coming, by Jazra Khaleed, in Asymptote's Tuesday Translation series at the Guardian.

Sophie Pinkham (Slavic Languages) talks about her book Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine, in which she discusses Ukraine’s history and life today in the country amidst ongoing conflict.

Watch Pinkham's interview, conducted by Alexander Cooley, on C-SPAN.

"On an ethereally sunny and surreal day in Doha, in the company of a dear Qatari artist friend, we walked into Qatar Museum Gallery Alriwaq, now exhibiting an awe-inspiring retrospective of the pre-eminent Iraqi artist, Dia Azzawi."

Read Hamid Dabashi's (MESAAS) "When nations fall their artists rise: Exploring five decades of Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi's works" at Al Jazeera.
Recently Published
"This form of folk opera, generally performed in a natural outdoor setting on summer Sunday afternoons, consists in singers dramatizing stories that are often directly adapted from or inspired by medieval and Renaissance chivalric romance. ... Using as a working hypothesis the principle that 'oral traditions reflect a society’s present cultural values rather than idle curiosity about the past,' this essay compares two prominent maggio companies from the same Apenninic village in an attempt to uncover how each company’s performances are tied to the expression of its core principles."

Read Jo Ann Cavallo's (Department of Italian) article, "National Political Ideologies and Local Maggio Traditions of the Reggio Emilia Apennines: Roncisvalle vs. Rodomonte," in Conquistare la montagna Storia di un’idea.
This contribution to a set of case studies, titled “In the Humanities Classroom,” focuses on one session of a Columbia University seminar. “Herder's Sheep” details how the active participation of students was ensured, what techniques of communication were used to ensure it, and what the students learned during the discussion.

Read Dorothea von Mücke's (Germanic Languages) "Herder's Sheep" in Common Knowledge.

"Those interested in twentieth-century music, American music, musical theater, LGBTQ history, Jewish composers, music informed by considerations of politics including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, and leftist musicians and artists are in Pollack's debt for this magnificent, richly detailed study."

Read Ellie M. Hisama's (Music) review of Howard Pollack's Marc Blitzstein: His Life, His Work, His World in the Journal of the American Musicological Society.
"In July 1926, while preparing material for his doctoral thesis on the Romanesque sculpture of the abbey of Moissac, Meyer Schapiro traveled along the shores of the Mediterranean. Departing from Paris to follow several itineraries over fifteen months, Schapiro, not yet twenty-two, explored medieval southern France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, and Turkey. Traveling over land and sea, he traced the medieval pilgrims’ routes. In doing so, he was in fact crossing borders of his fellow art historians’ disciplines and regional-studies’ categories."

Read Avinoam Shalem's (Art History and Archaeology) "Passages: Meyer Schapiro's Early Travels and the Uniting Mediterranean Sea" in Convivium.

"How has our relation to energy changed over time? What differences do particular energy sources make to human values, politics, and imagination? How have transitions from one energy source to another - from wood to coal, or from oil to solar to whatever comes next - transformed culture and society?"

Learn more about Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment, co-edited and with an introduction and afterword by Jennifer Wenzel (English and Comparative Literature).

Do you have news to share with the Columbia Humanities community? Email
Fellowships, Grants, & CFPs
The Council for European Studies (CES) invites eligible graduate students in the humanities to apply for the 2017-18 Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships in European Studies. Each fellowship includes a $25,000 stipend, paid in six (6) bi-monthly installments over the course of the fellowship year, as well as assistance in securing reimbursements or waivers in eligible health insurance and candidacy fees.

Deadline: February 1, 2017
For more information, visit
The Heyman Center for the Humanities invites applications for the Edward W. Said Fellowship, to support promising scholars early in their careers to produce scholarship that crosses disciplinary boundaries, promotes humanistic inquiry in the service of intercultural communication and understanding, and engages the public. Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to subsidize a short-term residency at Columbia, from one month to one semester, including associated travel costs.

For more information, visit
Banco Santander has created the W30 Program: Developing Women Leaders in University Administration in partnership with UCLA Anderson Executive Education to prepare women in university administration for leadership positions of increasing responsibility.

Deadline: March 31, 2017
For more information, go to
The Heyman Center for the Humanities and Humanities New York (formerly, the New York Council for the Humanities) announce a call for applications for the 2017-2018 Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellowship. Please note that only current Columbia graduate students and recent doctoral recipients (PhD awarded after January 2016) are eligible to apply.

Deadline: February 17, 2017
For more information about the fellowship, please visit
The Center for Spatial Research and the Dean of Humanities invite interested faculty to participate in Mapping for the Urban Humanities. During the two-week Mellon-funded "bootcamp," faculty will learn key skills in mapping, data visualization, and data collection that they can incorporate into their research and teaching.

Deadline: January 27, 2017
For more information, go to
Copyright © 2017 Columbia University, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Columbia University
105 Low Library MC4302
535 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Columbia University · 105 Low Library MC4302 · 535 West 116th Street · New York, NY 10027 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp